ST. GEORGE — One vehicle reportedly following another too closely resulted in a crash with injuries Monday afternoon on Riverside Drive.
The collision occurred just before 4:10 p.m. near the intersection of Riverside Drive and 1990 East Street. Officer Ean Williams with the St. George Police Department said a woman driving a red Acura MDX was driving too close to a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee just ahead, leaving her with little time to react when the Jeep stopped.
“(She) rear-ended the silver Jeep, leading to injuries in the Acura,” Williams said. “One of the juvenile passengers was not seat-belted and sustained a contusion to the head. The driver also sustained injuries to her wrist and hand, most likely from the airbag deployment.”
The Jeep was occupied by an uninjured adult male driver and his pet dog, which was jolted and a bit rattled but otherwise unharmed. Paramedics with Gold Cross Ambulance arrived as a precaution, but those injured declined transport to the hospital.
The vehicles’ occupants mirrored the damage to their cars: the Jeep sustained only minor cosmetic damage to the rear bumper while the Acura was totaled with a crumpled hood and front bumper.
In the process of assessing damage and investigating the crash, Williams said neither vehicle was insured and subsequently cited both drivers for driving without insurance.
“Insurance is very very important to have for the main reason that if you do get involved in a collision, and the person that may be at fault doesn’t have any insurance, then the victim has to bear the burden of trying to recoup the cost of that incident,” he said. “In the case where a vehicle does not have insurance, that vehicle will be state-impounded.”
After impounding the totaled Acura and the operational Jeep, Williams issued two additional citations to the Acura’s female driver – one for following too closely and another for driving with an unrestrained passenger.
The presence of the damaged cars, along with tow trucks and emergency vehicles, led to the temporary closure of the outside lane of westbound Riverside Drive in the vicinity of 1990 East Street. The St. George Fire Department, Utah Department of Transportation Incident Management and Washington City Police Department assisted in redirecting traffic and clearing the scene.
The already-busy stretch of roadway connecting both halves of St. George became even more congested over the hour and a half it took to resolve the incident.
Williams said similar crashes can be avoided at great benefit to individuals and the community at large, provided everyone practices safe driving habits.
“Especially during rush-hour traffic like we’re seeing right now, it does have a great effect on people’s time,” he said. “Also, we did have another collision here while I was investigating this incident. That’s another example, because they may have been looking at what was going on. So just pay attention, be safe and drive like your life depends on it – because it very well could.”
The secondary collision was minor enough that both drivers opted not to involve the police, Williams said.
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